Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Jessie's X-Ray Fund"

What can I say about my dog Jessie....she has issues! I guess it is a dog thing, okay it is definitely a lab thing, to get nuts over a tennis ball. Jessie will play fetch with you until she drops. Even when you're done throwing the ball she keeps dropping it at your feet waiting for you to to throw it again. I did teach her "Last time then lay down." which works quite a bit of the time, as long as we don't have company. I guess company gets her all excited and she feels chasing the ball is a good way to release some of that excitement.

We have a ton of tennis balls. You can't walk into a room in my house without coming across at least one. A couple years ago I even bought her a lot of 100 tennis balls on Ebay. We dumped them all out at once in the living room and she went around and picked each and every one up at least once. The excitement in her face was priceless.

When Jessie chases the ball she plays hard, especially outside. She runs fast and hard and she slides on her back legs to come to a stop at the ball. A few years ago she did this and sprained one of her back legs. It has since developed arthritis. I don't really play much ball with her outside anymore because she just plays too hard. When someone comes over I tell them not to throw it outside for her more than 1 or 2 times, but she always keeps bringing the ball back and dropping it for them to throw and of course they throw it. The thing is she doesn't care if her arthritis makes her leg hurt as long as she can chase the ball. All that doggie adrenaline makes her forget the soreness until later.

Now with the winter at full force here and the bitterly cold weather Jessie's arthritis is acting up. Our vet wants to  take some x-rays and make sure she didn't re-injure it. Of course x-rays are super expensive so that is what this post is really all about.

I love my dogs more than I can express. They are so selfless, they are always there to comfort and be there for you no matter what. And I do my best to give them the most loving home I can. They are so spoiled! I don't know how many nights I've slept so uncomfortable in my bed so they both have comfy cozy spots (and that can be tricky with one human and 2 yellow labs, one at 70 pounds and the other at 82!). You know you spoil your dogs when you make a special trip to the meat market for them and have a big bag of bones in your freezer!

In this difficult and tough economy things are tight, especially with the upcoming holidays, but I'm working on a way to earn the extra money needed for Jessie's x-rays. I know I've posted about my Pet Trading Cards. They are a great way to show off your adorable, cuddly pets, who I consider to be part of the family. Starting today all the proceeds from my Pet Card sales go directly into "Jessie's X-ray Fund". The cards are $2.00 each or 12 for $20.00 plus $2.00 shipping. Here you can read more about my Pet Trading Cards. If you are interested in having your favorite pet photos made into trading cards please send me an email. They make wonderful keepsakes and are a great way to show off your wonderful furry family members!

I will also have several auctions on Ebay this month in which all the money earned will go into the fund as well. I will post a link to these auctions shortly.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Super Slurper!

I've always known Jessie has a super long tongue but after going through the pictures I took of her on our walk today I think it must be the longest doggie tongue ever! I mean she must be super uncomfortable when she has her mouth shut!

These are just pictures I shot today, but after going through my doggie photo files I don't have many pictures of Jessie where her tongue isn't hanging out.

This is not a great quality photo (sorry for the blurriness) but I do think it showcases the length of Jessie's tongue well.

Even when she is laying soaking up the sun her tongue is out.

Here you can see not only is her tongue long but it is also quite wide. This makes it ideal for slurping!

Jessie has no problem posing for the camera, especially if you have something in you hand that you are preparing to throw.

I guess she isn't picky about which side of her mouth her tongue hangs out of.

I love this shot! Her tongue looks huge here, how does it fit in her mouth??

Profile tongue shot.

What a dork! She is such a weirdo, maybe that is why she is a perfect match for the Parkers =o)

Casey on the other hand has a perfectly proportioned tongue for her mouth. She too is a weirdo but in so many different ways....she fits in well around here, too!

On a side note: We couldn't have a more beautiful November day! The 8th of November in Michigan and it is sunny with a bright blue sky and almost 60 degrees F! What a great day for a walk.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Movie Review and Some Fall Pics

Okay, I have always been obsessed with cartoons. Maybe that is why I love to draw. Even as an adult I still watch cartoons and animated movies. I never pass up the opportunity to watch the Flintstones or Looney Tunes on Boomerang. And you can be sure to find Nemo, Wall-E or a Disney classic playing at my house at least once a week. I enjoy the Pixar style animation but am still a hardcore hand drawn Disney fan, Robin Hood and Sword in the Stone being my favorites. But coming in a very close third on my list of animated flicks is Toy Story. From the first time I saw it I was hooked. The first Toy Story was released when I was a teen (and yes I know this will be embarrassing) and I had (and still have) a Toy Story bedspread, the Buzz Lightyear action figure, Slinky Dog, Mr. Potato Head and a Bucket-O-Soldiers. One of my dogs was also named after my now favorite Toy Story character, Jessie. Let's just say I love Toy Story.

Well, last night I watched Toy Story 3. It was great, it stayed right in flow with the first two films, never missed a beat. The characters all had the same lovable charm and were very comical. I must say this one had a very intense ending, I found myself very nervous and anxious to see how it would end. It was very emotional. A lot of movie critics talked about the movie having a darker feel than the previous two but I don't think it was more sinister than the disturbed neighbor boy, Sid, of Toy Story 1. All in all I was very happy with it. Disney/Pixar didn't disappoint and did a brilliant job once again.

Also on my movie watch list this week was Letters to Juliet. Very much a chick flick. I really enjoyed it. It was a bit predictable but what romantic comedy isn't? The main characters were easily likable and I especially enjoyed Vanessa Redgrave's performance which was warm and so caring. Definitely a must see if you're a romantic comedy fan.


We've been taking a lot of very long walks the past couple weeks. With rifle hunting season coming up soon I want to get my dogs out in the field and woods as much as I can before we are limited just to our back yard. While I don't hunt I know there are hunters all around our property and I'm taking no chances. Something happens to some hunters (not the ones I know, who are very cautious) when they are out with their loaded weapons. I just don't trust that someone might get trigger happy and shoot before they realize what they are shooting at. So from November 15 until after the first of January our doggie walks are confined to the closeness of our house.

With all these long walks we've been able to soak up all the bright and brilliant colors that fall has brought our way. This fall, which is my favorite season for the above reason,  has been wonderful, not to warm or cold for the most part. We did have a week of 80-ish weather which is not at all unusual for Michigan. With all the beautiful colors came fall portraits of my doggies and my nephews. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to capture their photos with all the bright leaves and the giant pumpkin from our garden.

My two crazy pups out in the woods. 

Here's Jessie. I wish she wouldn't have had a mouthful of dirt of this picture, she was mole digging. But I do love the colors behind her.

Here she is with the gorgeous blue and green backdrop. Too bad as I clicked she moved forward. I guess she wanted her close up to be really close.

Casey is sometimes a little less cooperative or rather distracted when we're out in the woods. She's not very likely to sit and pose for you like Jessie does. Here she was completely distracted and fascinated with the falling leaves. She just laid down and watched as they floated down from the trees.

This is a shot of her running through the field. I was so happy we went out before noon and caught the morning sun.

Chase sure did like the big pumpkin. He kept giving it kisses.

It was so warm out this day that we got rid of the jacket. I think the striped shirt worked out perfect and of course he had to have the owl, which I think has become his favorite toy here.

These pictures of Chase were taken the first week of fall so the weather was still summerish! I love the colors, especially the brightness of the green grass.

Parker on the other had could have cared less about the pumpkin. I was lucky to get this shot of him when we first went outside. He sat real good for about 2 seconds (just long enough for me to push the button) then he was off to climb the porch steps.

You have to be quick any more to get a picture of this kid, he is on the move!

These were taken later in the afternoon so the sun was nice and golden.

So far, fall has yet to disappoint me. Wonderful weather and adorable doggies and babies, what more could you ask for?! Oh, maybe a beautiful healthy baby girl that will soon be forced to have her picture taken thousands of times. Yup, I have a niece due to arrive the end of the month and we are all super excited!  Chase is getting a little sister soon!

Enjoy fall, it doesn't last very long!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Welcome back Me!

Sorry it has been so long since my last post. It has been pretty crazy the last couple months. But I'm getting back into the swing of things.

Here are a couple invitations that I've done. The first one was for my nephew, Parker's first birthday party. He loves dogs, sometimes I think he believes he is a dog, especially when he carries his socks around in his mouth like Casey. His party theme was dogs of course and everything shared the theme from the invitations to the decorations to the cake to Parker's shirt! My sister decorated the cake using peppermint patties and Junior Mints for the paw prints which I thought was ingenious!
I wanted to make his invitation unique and stick with the dog theme so I made single fold paw prints out of cream/tan card stock. I used different patterned paper for the fronts so they all coordinated but no two invitations were the same. A narrow strip was added at the top of the patterned paper to look like a dog collar and I added an "I (heart) Dogs" license tag. The bone on the front reads "Parker's turning 1!!". All of the party information was printed on circles on the inside. I think they turned out cute!

The party turned out great and Parker really had a blast. He devoured his entire mini cake (he got a quick little hose off in the tub after that!)

These invitations I made for my sister-in-laws second baby shower. I decided to throw her small shower since she is having a girl this time! The theme for the party is pastel polka dots, very girly. I again wanted to do something different and went with a double folded package type invitation.

I added different patterned paper to the front of the flaps and on the back. There is a purple plaid "button" tab attached to the top flap and secured to the bottom with white iridescent ribbon that threads through two small holes. The ribbon isn't tied or bowed that way the recipient just has to lift up on the "button" tab to open and the ribbon just slides through easily. There is also matching ribbon wrapped around the top flap. It worked out really nice.

On the inside I printed all the party information in different classical and fancy fonts. I used pink and purple for the fonts. I added a heart or a flower circle embellishment on the iridescent ribbon as well as a "hosted by" circle embellishment on the bottom.

Here's what the finished invitation looks like.

I LOVE this polka dot paper! It was my favorite pattern. All the patterned paper that I used coordinated and I ended up using 5 different patterns. I love mixing things up!

Mixing up the font and the colors is also a great way of having a unique yet stylish look.

I'm working on some favor boxes that I plan to fill with bath salts and some other decorations. We're keeping the shower simple but elegant. Pictures will come afterwards =) It should be a fun day with close friends and family to celebrate the little girl coming our way in November!

Friday, June 18, 2010

I know my dog is obsessed with tennis balls. And I know that she is obsessed with loud noises like gunshots and fireworks. I know that she is obsessed with digging for moles....okay my dog has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder! Yesterday Jessie found a new obsession....the sprinkler!

She decided to ATTACK it!

Maybe get a drink, too.

And if she wasn't already wet enough, she decided to take a few laps through it.

She was SOAKED!

The neighbor dog was curious about all the commotion. (She's a bit intimidating, big doggie!) She also spotted Casey and me sitting under a tree.

GRRR neighbor dog!

Oh, that's right you can't go past your hidden fence!
(Casey and Jessie long to play with the neighbor dogs, but they always run away from my sweet pups who really do just want to play!)

After about 15 minutes of playing in the water I finally coaxed Jessie into the house. When she likes doing something she LIKES doing something! Casey on the other hand did NOT like the sprinkler. She walked around it once, got wet, freaked out and didn't go back. Glad I don't have two dogs with OCD!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Doe a deer, a female deer!

Well, I try to take my dogs for a long walk at least once a day (except for today it is pouring!). We walk our 10 acres of land, through our field and woods then we roam the open field behind our woods and sometimes wander through the woods past that. On our walks we've seen plenty of critters and crawly things like rabbits, turtles, snakes, pheasants, turkeys and all kinds of bugs (I despise deer flies!). Casey and Jessie might chase after these now and then but can easily be called off or distracted long enough for the little animal to make a clean break for it. Of course turtles get a different kind of treatment from Jessie. Never has she hurt a turtle though. I think her curiosity keeps her at bay; she seems to not be sure it they are critters for playing with or smelly rocks. Casey appears to go with the smelly rock theory. If Jessie finds a turtle she bounces and pounces towards it, circling and pawing at the ground around it barking and growling. This is one of the funniest things she does. It takes a few minutes to get her distracted away from turtles and she'll always make one more trip back to them.

Because I have Labrador Retrievers who seem to have a natural hunting instinct I've always been a little curious and worried about what they would do if we came across a deer on one of our walks. Well, yesterday I found out and boy was I exhausted on our return trip home! We were walking through the woods in a area that has a huge slope down towards a small swampy spot. The trees are spread out enough to make it easy to walk through and there is a nice path along the top of the slope. Casey and Jessie were exploring and I was at a nice pace behind them getting eaten alive by mosquitoes when we heard a crack. We looked over and there was a doe standing by some brush and in a split second she shot off! It took just that split second for Jessie to react and she was close on the doe's tail (I was really impressed by how well she kept up, the trees helped her and not the deer). I yelled at Jessie to stop, but she was on the hunt. Of course when Casey heard then saw the doe she froze with her ears popped up and in her ready to go stance and just watched the whole scene with excitement (I think she knew she had no chance of catching that doe or she hoped Jessie would then she could help take credit for catching it).

Anyway, in about 10 seconds time Jessie and the doe were getting out of my sight and Jessie seemed to have no intentions of letting that deer escape her. We aren't really familiar with that particular wood so Casey and I ran off to try and keep Jessie in view and convince her that it was a lost cause. Finally the doe broke away from Jessie's pursuit and was gone. That didn't stop Jess from trying to find it's scent and get back on her trail. After about 10 minutes I finally got Jessie to calm down and stop circling the area searching for the doe's scent. We were a little lost but finally found the path that led back to the open field. Of course with as fast as the whole thing happened and my fear that I would lose sight of Jessie, my camera just bopped along my side as the moment happened, so no Jessie chasing deer pictures, which is disappointing. I usually don't think fast enough in those type of moments to grab up my camera, I'm always too busy yelling at Jessie to leave the animal alone, we don't want any bunny, turkey or what ever animal it is casualties on our walks, I think that would spoil the tranquility of it all. Yeah, like there's a lot of tranquility on dog walks in the woods!

So, now I know what Jessie will do if she spots a deer. Let's hope the deer out there stay tucked away and hidden from Jess's view from now on. Of course it was exciting and she really enjoyed herself, so if it makes my doggies happy I'll deal with it. I think it's time to mix in some jogging with the walking though =)

There's never a dull moment on a walk with Casey and Jessie!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Splashin' Around

Well, we've had a lot of rain the past week, which meant being trapped inside all day! I love the outdoors and walking through the field and woods with my dogs. It is peaceful (sometimes) and very relaxing. I always have things to do inside though. For my dogs....well, I think they felt a bit imprisoned and bored.

So, when the sun decided to break loose and brighten the spirits around here I thought it was time for a prison break. I knew we were going to have one wet walk! I decided since the dogs were going to get wet they might as well have fun getting wet, so I let them splash around in this huge water puddle that stretched across our walking path in the field. They loved every minute of it!

Jessie loves to drink out of puddles and creeks on our walks. Look at that tongue, though!

Casey has a totally different approach to the water, she dunks her whole head in.
She must think she's a duck =)

Casey decided it was time Jessie was dunked so she tried to tackle her.

They really had a blast running through the water, getting me a little wet in the process.

Casey was SOAKED!

That was really a big puddle, good thing I wore boots 'cause it completely blocked our path. There was no going around it. They really didn't want to leave the puddle.

Time to dry off running through the beautiful spring sunshine. The breeze helped, too!

Jessie did manage to find another puddle to drink from, but was pretty dry by the time we reached the house.

It was a great prison break even with all the wet dog smell later :o)